Sunday 13 January 2013

GEMA and YouTube reach German impasse

Germany's music collection society GEMA has said that negotiations with YouTube have broken down, and that the society wants to haul the internet video platform before the arbitration board at the German Patent and Trademark Office. GEMA said that it is appealing to the Board over the alleged unlicensed use of 1,000 music tracks from it's catalogue, and is calling on the Board to decide independently whether its demand for €1.6 million compensation is appropriate. In addition, GEMA is demanding that YouTube take down the on-screen notice blocking music videos in Germany which blames GEMA for the impasse . In November last year, Harald Heker, the head of GEMA,  accused YouTube of deliberately misleading German users of the web service with the notice.

The last agreement between GEMA and Youtube expired in March 2009. In a statement GEMA said  "Up till January 2013, despite efforts on both sides, no agreement could be found on the question of the service's copyright responsibility for the content put online, nor on the amount of remuneration," adding that on behalf of its music publisher and songwriter members "Therefore GEMA is now taking the first measures to secure appropriate compensation for the copyright holders."

In a separate matter a Hamburg Court is set to determine whether YouTube is a content provider or simply a host for user generated and uploaded content.

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